Open Source Companies to Watch

This is a good list, the three that I very much like are Untangle, SnapLogic (fyi, I met SnapLogic last year, wrote about it here) and Kickfire.

It’s easy to focus on SaaS companies in the enterprise space, relegating on premise to a wheezing and gasping dinosaur in it’s final days, but the fact remains that on premise software remains the overwhelming majority of spend for enterprise IT and that’s not likely to change for a few more generations.

Open source has been a bigger disrupter to enterprise IT than on demand SaaS but because it tends to focus on IT needs rather than business user needs, it gets much less attention. While open source for enterprise business applications has moved up the food chain more slowly than I predicted, it is happening and in the coming years we will see traditional proprietary code vendors come under assault once again by the prospect of open source, this time resulting in more significant progress than in years past.

Other open source companies I like:

Zenoss: Network and system monitoring software.

Enomalism: Build your own private elastic compute cloud.

rPath: Virtual appliances.

Qumranet: Red Hat just acquired this company, more virtualization technology (hypervisor).

OpenAir: Project management software for professional service organizations.

Zillow Syndicates Content to Newspaper Consortium

Last week I wrote about how Gannett’s move to increase it’s stake in CareerBuilder seemed to be a logical move with regard to their interest in a consortium of newspapers and a shared ad network. The content syndication topic is gaining steam as these companies are moving beyond job listings to the bread-and-butter category of real estate content.

This is a huge deal that will be as transformative to the newspaper industry as going digital was a decade ago. The Zillow piece is just one element, the transformative part is how newspapers are fundamentally rethinking their online business strategy having recognized that doing online what you do offline simply doesn’t work.

Lastly, this is a direct assault on Yahoo Newspaper Consortium by 11 very big media companies.

Under the Zillow Advertising Network agreement, the consortium’s advertisers can tap into Zillow’s user base of more than 5 million unique monthly visitors, while Zillow’s advertisers will have access to readers of the newspapers’ online real-estate content.

[From Zillow, newspaper consortium launch ad network | News - Digital Media - CNET News]

More on this topic (What's this?) Read more on Zillow, Inc., Newspapers at Wikinvest

Grocery Shrink Ray Gun Hits Stash Tea

The Stash Tea Company should be ashamed of themselves.

I stopped into the grocery store to buy my wife some tea… thought I’d get the “organic” tea cuz you know, organic means better, right (sarcasm intended). Then I noticed the organic, while priced the same as regular tea, is an 18 count box and not 20. Those 2 fewer tea bags translates to an 16% price increase, and although the products are technically a different SKU it still falls into shrink ray gun territory because Stash Tea company explicitly chose to decrease the quantity as opposed to increase the price for the organic.

It actually gets worse when you calculate the pricing off the net contents. You will notice in the attached picture that the net contents are 18 grams in the organic version versus 38 grams in the non-organic. What that means is that the company has decreased the amount of actual tea by over half in one, while suggesting it’s the same price as the original product. Actually, according to actual product volume, the organic version is 111% more expensive than the non-organic original product, or put another way that box of tea is really $8.42 on a unit to unit basis when compared to the other Stash Tea product.

I complained to the store clerk, who looked at me like I was from another planet (a planet where people do simple arithmetic, apparently).

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More on this topic (What's this?)
Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater
Market Outlook
Week Ahead Magazine: May 18, 2014
Read more on Ray, Oriental Press GRP at Wikinvest